By now you may have seen Part 1 and Part 2 of music crew Broken Bells’ mini-film “After the Disco.” What you may not know is what Bob Fosse has to do with any of it.
Helmed by Jacob Gentry (“The Signal”) and starring Kate Mara and Anton Yelchin, this sentimental space journey is both retro-cool and futuristic, a look the director intended with the eye-popping space-scapes against throwback colors schemes and costumes.
“Science fiction is my favorite genre,” Gentry said in our interview, an it shows. His first go with Broken Bells — which consists of James Mercer of the Shins and producer/songwriter Danger Mouse — was for 2010 music vid “The Ghost Inside,” featuring Christina Hendricks literally selling pieces of herself to enjoy an intergalactic utopia straight from of a 1940’s style Hollywood postcard.
The love story for “After the Disco” had Yelchin’s character, boring and lifeless, finding his way into the arms of space cadet Mara, then lulled into the belly of a ship and a dance party that goes on forever. Sweet living, no? Tough luck, sweethearts, the scene goes sour. Read a full Q&A with Kate Mara on the video and more here.
“I wanted to take the deign elements of ‘Logan’s Run’ and give it a melancholy,” Gentry continues, mentioning that Broken Bells’ “bold pop music references” suited the scope of a small story in a big universe. Gentry and Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) have known each other since college and each being a fan of each others’ work appears to have helped with the shorthand and creative vision it takes to shoot a story like this in only two days.
“It”s a perfect marriage, [Burton] and James, the way it works together. We all laid out the tracks and extra music and saw what worked. Going into the studio with Brian, it all turned into more like a score… I was so in awe of what they do.”
It was Yelchin’s first music video shoot ever, and he, too, was happy working in a mutual appreciation society.
“I love Danger Mouse. I’d met [Burton] a couple of times and thought the concept was really interesting,” Yelchin said. I asked if he kept his space helmet bubble. “I’m wearing it right now.”
So back to Bob Fosse: in Part 2, on the dancefloor, I said I thought that the astronauts may ultimately break out into a choreographed dance scene. “I love Bob Fosse, ‘All That Jazz’ is one of my favorites. So in that scene, I had to tell the background actors how to dance. Not like modern, but more in a way like they danced in the ’60s… like ‘Hair!'”
To Yelchin, I inquired if he was glad there wasn’t a dance sequence.
“I’m like the anti-Baryshnikov,” he said of another famous Russian. “I can’t dance for shit.”